The Gin and It was a popular cocktail during wartime Britain, presumably because it used the local gin, was very easy to make and drank rather well. The Gin and It was known in 1880s USA as a ‘Sweet Martini.’ It was later known as a ‘Gin and Italian’ by virtue of the source of the vermouth. By the time Prohibition came along in the States, ‘Italian’ had been shortened to ‘IT,’ and the drink crossed the pond, presumably on a rather nice cruise ship that wasn’t RMS Titanic.
In terms of recipes, like the Dry Martini, the variations are endless. Simon Difford suggests 50/50 gin and vermouth and a dash of Angostura orange bitters. Other recipes state that the vermouth is half the gin volume, which we like the sound of. Many published recipes suggest 50ml gin and 25ml vermouth, but that is a mean measure. We suggest nearly doubling all that.
The Gin and It was not traditionally chilled. But come on, it’s 2021 and we have freezers. Gin-based drinks really benefit from seeing some ice.
Gin and It
- 80ml dry gin
- 40ml sweet vermouth (rosso)
Stir the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.